Flight is an incredibly impressive example of acrobatic theatre, if not a particularly interesting take on the story of The Little Prince

Their acrobatics are fantastic, complex and incredibly impressive to watch.

The storyline follows the original as closely as you can without infringing on rights. Roses are swapped for cactuses, snakes for stingrays, and the Sahara for Mexico but essentially this is the same story. The pilot from the original tale has stopped flying planes and now only drives. He once again crashes his vehicle and is stranded, when he is visited by a new female prince, who has no interest in your gender politics and therefore is called The Little Prince. The Prince tells the pilot tales of her home island, and her journeys from it into the world of adults. We then follow what the Prince learns through her experiences, and watch her leave the pilot, eventually returning to her home.

Their acrobatics are fantastic, complex and incredibly impressive to watch. It is clear there is a high level of trust and support within the ensemble. They are carefully designed to weave subtly into the storyline. The transitions in and out of them are so smooth that they often almost pass unnoticed. Some of the lifts create really fantastic moments. In particular, a moment when the prince goes swimming is an absolutely enchanting scene.

The tale has been adapted into a storytelling style which is very soothing to listen to, and easy to perform whilst on the top of an acrobatic lift. This means that characterisation is limited as often the lines of character were narrated for them, as they stood there. This means that it is much more difficult to care about the characters; even the Prince herself was disassociated from the audience due to the narrative style.

The performance style also means that there is very little change of pace. A few moments like the car crash draw you in, but the majority of the production is a slow, calming selection of scenes. This has a slightly sedative effect on the audience, leaving some of the younger members restless and chatty (less impressed by the fifth lift than they were by the first one). In a tale full of fascinating and memorable characters, the memory and narrative style of the adaptation limited the amount you could have achieved with such fascinating source material.

There was audience interaction which added nothing to the production, either to the storyline or for the audience, and it felt tacked on and forgotten. There were also technical mistakes, surprising to see quite a way into their run. However, this is a really extraordinary piece of acrobatic theatre. If you are looking for a solid performance faithful to The Little Prince or a show that will introduce children to the story, this show is for you. Just don’t expect it to shed a new light on proceedings,

Reviews by M Johnson

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The Blurb

Acrobatics and storytelling twist into a wondrous and whimsical world! Our favourite pilot crashes on the Mexican coast where memories of twinkling stars transform into splashing waves as he searches for his lost friend, The Little Prince. Told by a troupe of acrobats who spin the story upside down, Saint-Exupéry's Little Prince soars to new heights in this adventurous sequel for the whole family! 'Utterly fresh!' ***** (List). 'A virtuoso performance! Graceful, precise and joyous to witness!' (NYTheatre.com on Extinguish, 2010). 'A new kind of production ... resounding, thoughtful, picturesque!' (Signal Tribune on Lemon, 2012).

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